Fidel Vila-Rodriguez, MD, FRCPC, FAPA

S01_3352Clinical Associate Professor. Director, Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies Laboratory and Schizophrenia Program; Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC)

Welcome to the NINET’s website!

I hope you find this website informative, useful, and interesting.

On this website I would like to tell you about a very exciting project I am leading: The Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies (NINET) Laboratory at UBC.

NINET was conceived with the primary goal in mind of further alleviating the suffering of those who are afflicted by the most severe forms of mental disorders. I strongly believe that blending excellent clinical and research work is the most efficient way to accomplish the aforementioned goal. Therefore, NINET’s focus is on the research of clinical applications of non-invasive neurostimulation therapies.

I am not alone. NINET is a collective effort not only at the Department of Psychiatry and UBC communities, but also the result of ongoing fruitful collaborations with  researchers across Canada. You will get to know some individuals on this website who play a critical role at the frontline with NINET, but you have to keep in mind there are plenty more who make NINET work possible on a daily basis (administration members of the Dpt. of Psychiatry and UBC, clinicians, friends and families) and to whom I am profoundly grateful.

Happy reading and best wishes,


PS. For those of you interested in my educational and professional background here you will find a brief bio.

I obtained my Medical Degree from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, followed by a Fellowship at the Saint John of God Mental Health Services focusing on Psychiatry and Schizophrenia. After completing the first Fellowship, I obtained a Masters in Neuroscience from the Universitat de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. I moved to Canada and completed a Fellowship at the British Columbia Mental Health and Addiction Services focusing on Severe Mental Disorders as well as a Fellowship at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. I have received honours and recognitions for my scholar and professional contributions such as: The George Davidson Scholarship, The Significant Contribution of Research UBC award, and the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry of Canada Annual Research Award.

My research has been supported by CIHR, Brain Canada, American Psychiatric Association Foundation, Providence Health Care Foundation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. All these funding has  allowed the NINET lab to interrogate critical clinical-research questions that aim at having an immediate and positive translational potential to clinical practice and improving care of people suffering  Severe Mental Disorders.


Annie Kuan
Research Coordinator

Annie has over two decades of experience with the UBC Psychiatry Department as a Research Coordinator / Research Assistant. By working with various Psychiatry researchers, clinicians, patients, and trainees, Annie has gained a wide understanding of multiple Psychiatric areas, including: Depression, Reproductive Mental Health, Schizophrenia, Neuropsychiatry, Bipolar Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Annie joined NINET in the summer of 2014 as the Research Coordinator and looks forward to contributing to the NINET Lab’s progression towards its goals.

Christine Dobek
Research Assistant  

Education History:

M.Sc., Neuroscience, Queen’s University
B.Sc., Psychology, University of Alberta

Christine received a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience investigating Neuropsychology with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) from Queen’s University in 2013. Upon graduating, Christine joined NINET in 2013 as the first hire to be a Research Assistant. Christine currently coordinates the TMS studies, administers Neuropsychological tests, as well as conducts TMS treatments.

Adam Dipinto
Research Assistant

Education History:

B.Sc., General Science, University of Lethbridge

Adam received a General Science Degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2012. After graduating, Adam had the opportunity to work at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) in Lethbridge as a Research Assistant for Dr. Cross within the MRI Lab. Looking for a change of scenery, Adam moved out to British Columbia and joined NINET in 2014 as a Research Assistant. Adam currently focuses on the Neuroimaging aspects of the lab while conducting TMS treatments.

Adelena Leon
Research Assistant

Education History:

B.Sc., Integrated Science, University of British Columbia

Adelena received her Integrated Science Degree from the University of British Columbia in 2012. Continuing her directed studies work, she became a project leader at the Visual Cognition Lab at UBC. Combined with her interest in Visual Analytics, her focus was exploratory data analysis and visual representations of information.

Wanting to focus on healthcare research, she joined NINET in 2013. She currently focuses on data base creation, data quality, and analysis within multiple projects. She will soon be conducting tDCS treatments for an upcoming project.

Vanessa Fong
Research Assistant

Education History:

M.Sc., Psychology, University of London
B.Sc. (Honours), Psychology & Biology, University of Toronto

Vanessa received her Masters Degree from the University of London, completing her dissertation on neurocognitive profiles of children with behavioural/conduct disorders.

In the past, she has worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and at the Anna Freud Centre in London conducting research on various mental health disorders in young children, parents and families.

Aman Indar Singh
Research Assistant

Education History:

MB BCh BAO (NUI), LRCSI, LRCPI, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain
B.A., Political Science, University of British Columbia

Aman received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in 2006. In 2007, he was accepted into RCSI’s Bahrain campus and pursued an education in medicine. After graduation, he returned to Vancouver and in 2014 joined NINET as a Research Assistant in ECT research. Concurrently, he has been working as a Clinical Trainee in different medical departments at UBC and Vancouver General Hospital and hopes to specialize in Psychiatry.

Ana Aleksic
Research Assistant

Education History:

M.Sc., Pharmacy (Integrated B.Sc and M.Sc Program), University of Belgrade, Faculty of Pharmacy

Ana received her Master’s Degree in Pharmacy investigating the toxicity and classification of novel psychoactive substances at the University of Belgrade in 2014. After graduating, Ana decided to pursue her passion for psychiatric research and joined NINET in 2015 to become a Research Assistant. She currently conducts TMS treatments and is also involved in several research projects focusing on psychosis and schizophrenia. Ana will soon begin her PhD studies in Pharmacology at the University of British Columbia and Dr. Alasdair Barr and Dr. Vila-Rodriguez as Co-Supervisor.

Mina Ekramnia
Academic Assistant

Education History:

M.Sc., Neural Information Processing,  Max Planck Institute, Tübingen, Germany

B.Sc., Physics,  Sharif University of Technology

Mina started her Masters of Neural Information Processing at the International Max Planck Research Institute in Tübingen back in 2013. Once completing her courses and several internships ranging from single cell recording, electrophysiology, and cognitive and behavioral analysis, she moved to British Columbia to join the NINET Lab in 2015. In joining NINET, Mina looks towards expanding her interests by becoming involved in healthcare and clinical neuroscience research. Mina is currently involved in the Non-Inferiority study where she is searching for neurophysiological biomarkers in regards to EEG and MRI techniques.



Katie Green

Education History:

B.Sc., Integrated Science, University of British Columbia

Katie is an undergraduate student at UBC starting her 4th year in the Integrated Science program. After she finishes her undergraduate degree she is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in neuroscience. In the past she worked on a psychotherapy program evaluation at BC Children’s Hospital. She joined NINET in 2014 and is currently working in ECT research.


Aisha Ghani

Educational History:

B.Sc., Psychology, University of British Columbia

Aisha has just received her Psychology degree from UBC. She has completed a directed studies project with Dr. Janet Werker on the audio-visual influences of language acquisition. In Dr. Colleen Brenner’s Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, she ran multiple EEG experiments. She also works as a behaviour interventionist with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aisha has joined the NINET team to gain experience with different clinical populations.




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